Terms of Service

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR SITE MEMBERSHIP: Users of the WFS Online site must meet the following requirements as set forth in the WFS Meeting Attendance Inclusion Policy:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • In, or seeking, recovery from a substance use disorder or problematic substance use
  • Identify as female, including women from the LGBT+ community and those with trans experiences

 

 

Online Site Agreements

 

Women for Sobriety, Inc., established in 1975, is a self-help recovery program for adult women that sincerely desire an abstinent New Life. The WFS New Life Program was created by Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. (d. June 19, 2000). This WFS Online community was founded by “fourcwoman,” former WFS board member Nancy Cross (d. August 25, 2015). We honor the legacy of these life-saving women by agreeing to adhere to the program philosophy in all of our interactions on this site.

Our program is based upon the daily living of our motto, the daily practice of the 13 Acceptance Statements, and the resulting progression towards a New Life as described in the Levels of Recovery.

Our program is the basis for all of our contacts with each other, whether in face-to-face groups, the WFS Online site, the Chat Room, the Zoom Room, or any other WFS peer-support resource. Please familiarize yourself with the following. Participate only if you will apply these agreements in all of your interactions on the WFS Online Site and while in the Chat and Zoom Rooms.
 

Level of Growth 1:  Acceptance of having a physical disorder that requires cessation of substance use. (Statement 1:  I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.) 

  • Do not attend meetings or post to the site on any day that you have consumed any alcohol or other drug. Do not attend meetings or post to the site on any day that you are under the influence of prescribed, or other legal, controlled substances that may impair your ability to exercise sound judgment and be fully responsible for your decisions and actions. 
  • Do discuss and encourage others based on the WFS Program Motto, 13 Statements, and Levels of Growth. Do respect that some women use multiple recovery programs simultaneously, and are welcome here to seek support and share their growth in the WFS New Life Program. This does not mean you cannot mention you attend other support groups; however, we do not discuss other programs, negatively or positively, on this site. 
  • Do encourage any positive measurement of progress in our sober journeys. (WFS does not require, encourage, or discourage the counting of sober days.) 
  • Do support abstinence only! It is understandable that women seeking sobriety will sometimes lapse or relapse. However, if you are seeking support for attempts to moderate your use, then this is not the site or program for you. Do seek support from a harm-reduction program elsewhere. 

 

Level of Growth 2:  Discarding negative thoughts, putting guilt behind, and practicing new ways of viewing and solving problems. (Statement 2:  Negative thoughts destroy only myself. Statement 4: Problems bother me only to the degree I permit. Statement 9: The past is gone forever.) 

  • Do manage conflict one-to-one in Private Messages (PMs) or emails. Do not discuss conflicts between members in public posts, meetings, or informal gatherings with others present, other than those parties directly involved in the conflict. Do not threaten harm to anyone. 
  • Do not post detailed accounts of past use episodes. Do not post quantity or specific types of alcohol or drugs consumed. Do focus on today and your sober journey. 
  • Do respect the diversity of women here. Do not engage in name calling, defamation of character, religious and political debate, or prejudicial and offensive comments. (We are a large group of members representing almost every culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation and identity, socio-economic class, religion, political affiliation, and majority/minority groups around the world. It is excusable to sometimes not know that a word or phrase is offensive to some other people. However, when anyone states that your use of a word or phrase is offensive to them, please edit your post to eliminate the offensive language. Express your point in some other words. Do this as a caring and compassionate woman, without regard to whether or not you intended the word or phrase to be offensive or understand why the other person perceives it as offensive.) 
  • Do not use profanity. Do not attempt to circumvent this agreement by using symbols to spell words such as using “$” to mean “s”. Many women are offended by the public use of profanity, as was our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD. Profanity is often used as an abuse tactic by domestic violence offenders and may be particularly uncomfortable for survivors of such violence. In the event profanity is encountered, the administrators may edit the post, removing the profanity and replacing it with the word “filtered” without notification to the original author. 

 

Level of Growth 3:  Creating and practicing a new self-image. (Statement 5:  I am what I think. Statement 12:  I am a competent woman, and I have much to give life.) 

  • Do demonstrate capability by sharing your thoughts and experiences with others. Avoid telling another woman what she should or should not do. 
  • Do demonstrate competence by asking for help. None of us can do this alone. 
  • Do demonstrate caring by giving positive support and empathy when replying to posts. Even a hug or a few kind words may be important. 
  • Do demonstrate compassion by putting yourself in your sister’s shoes. Ask yourself if your reply will be helpful to the sober journey of this woman and others that are reading the thread. 

 

Level of Growth 4:  Using new attitudes to enforce new behavior patterns. (Statement 3:  Happiness is a habit I am developing. Statement 6:  Life can be ordinary or it can be great. Statement 11:  Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.) 

  • Do actively and enthusiastically participate on this site. Read, post, respond, join a Connections group, and attend meetings
  • Do celebrate milestones and offer good wishes. Do not disrespect a member’s privacy by initiating recognition of a milestone, a birthday, or by revealing a challenge in her life without her permission. Contact other members directly by email or Private Message to send birthday greetings, ask why they haven’t been online, or ask about any challenges they have not publicly mentioned on the site. 
  • Do donate to WFS. This is an entirely member-supported site. There are no membership dues. Each member is asked to contribute as her ability allows. This includes financial support and volunteering your time. This program and site exist because the women that came before us gave. Give back so we will be here for the next woman. Give back because doing so enhances your New Life. 

 

Level of Growth 5:  Improving relationships as a result of our new feelings about self. (Statement 7:  Love can change the course of my world. Statement 10:  All love given returns.) 

  • When posting a message, do honor others by quoting what they said. Be sure to give credit where credit is due. Limit quoting anyone else to brief segments and use quotation marks. 
  • Do not quote others’ remarks from Private Messages or meetings without their permission. Do honor others’ privacy and confidentiality by not revealing their identity or other personal information, either online or in the 3D world, without their permission. 
  • Do honor others by copying posts for your personal and private use. Do not copy content from this site and publish anywhere else (another site, a blog, an email, in writing, etc.) for any reason. 
  • Do respond to calls for informal Chat and Video gatherings. The Chat and Zoom Rooms are available anytime, except when they are reserved for a formal scheduled meeting and the 15 minutes preceding the meetings. Members may post their desire to have others meet them in the Chat or Zoom room for a specific and immediate purpose. (To do this, start a new thread on the Everyday Living Forum and/or the What's New feed no more than 24 hours in advance. State your reason for an informal meetup, which Room you will use, and how long you will wait for other members to join you. To prevent later confusion, upon exiting the room, delete the post(s). Informal gathering posts left up after the gathering is over may be removed without further notice. 
    • Sample Text for posting an informal meetup:  SUBJECT LINE: “Informal Chat + date and time”  MESSAGE:  “I will be in the chat room at _______ on _______day if anyone wants to join me. I will wait at least _____ minutes for others to join me. All are welcome!” 
  • Do invite your WFS sisters by Private Message or email to meet up with you in the Chat or Zoom room at any available time. 
  • Do not, in any manner, suggest or imply that an informal gathering in the Chat or Zoom room is a regularly scheduled event. Do not imply that the informal gathering is a moderated meeting or has a Certified Facilitator, or that the informal gathering is endorsed by WFS. 
  • Do welcome all members to the Chat or Zoom room anytime during an informal gathering. If someone else enters in the middle of an informal gathering, please tell her what the discussion is about and invite her to join you. Do not exclude any member from the Chat or Zoom room at any time, unless you are a Certified Facilitator acting within the WFS Online Site Agreements. (Red text, and all shades close to red, is reserved for the leader of a formal Text Chat Meeting during official meeting times only.)
  • Do not attempt to contact a sister in the 3D world except by mutual invitation and agreement. Do pursue 3D friendships by attending face-to-face meetings, regional gatherings, attending WFS Annual Weekend Conference, or by arranging for a mutually agreed upon meeting via Private Message or email. 
  • Do respect the volunteers and their time by adhering to these Online Site Agreements and post on the most appropriate Forum or space on the site. 
  • Do respect the Certified Facilitators (CFs). CFs are volunteers that have been certified by the WFS organization. The CFs have a huge responsibility to prepare for Text Chat and Zoom Video Meetings and ensure that meetings function as directed by WFS. Check the topic before entering the meeting, if one has been posted. Arrive on time for meetings (be aware of time-zone). Limit your comments to the discussion of the topic. Remember the “5-minute rule” and log out of the meeting to protect others’ privacy if you need to step away. Abide by all directives of the Certified Facilitator or her designated assistants while in a meeting. (This includes introducing yourself when requested, as this is one way the CFs can ensure that there are no unattended computers logged into the Chat or Zoom Room.)
  • In the event of repeated violations of the Online Site Agreements during an online meeting, CFs may remove a participant from the meeting or the WFS Online site for the duration of the meeting.

 

 

Level of Growth 6:  Recognizing life’s priorities:  emotional and spiritual growth, self-responsibility. (Statement 8:  The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth. Statement 13:  I am responsible for myself and for my actions.) 

  • Do use this site responsibly and protect yourself. Do not post identifying information, such as a telephone number or physical address. Do not provide your personal contact information outside of this site to another user unless you know them.
  • Do protect our privacy. Do not leave your computer unattended while logged into the WFS Online site, the Chat Room, or the Zoom Room. Do not attend a Zoom meeting if your screen is visible to others or your sound can be heard by others; use headphones if necessary and have your screen/camera facing away from others. Do not share your password with anyone, ever! 
  • Do use this site only for your own sobriety journey. Do not advertise any products, services, or other Internet sites. Do not gather information about others (including surveys or research) unless specifically approved by the WFS Board of Directors and/or WFS President/CEO. 
  • Do not practice any profession on this site. While there are numerous doctors, lawyers, social workers, accountants, realtors, etc., among the membership here, and we all have our own past experiences with professionals, we do not offer professional advice on this site. Do encourage women to seek professional advice in the 3D world through their local doctors, lawyers, accountants, clinicians, realtors, etc. 
  • Do not threaten harm to yourself on this site. We are a self-help group. We do not have professionals available to manage a life-threatening crisis. Do contact an appropriate crisis line or call for Emergency Medical Technicians. (9-1-1 in the U.S.) 
  • Do participate with honesty and integrity. Do not attempt to circumvent these Online Site Agreements. Do respect and comply with the directives of the CFs and volunteer management team members. 
  • Do pursue your own emotional and spiritual growth through participating on this site, volunteering for jobs on the site, and engaging in the daily practice of the WFS Program

 
We are all women who are, “capable and competent, caring and compassionate, always willing to help another, bonded together in overcoming our addictions.” We all participate in the moderation of this site. In the event that you detect any disregard of these agreements on the WFS Online site, please notify a member of the Forum Management Team by private message (FMTeam) or by using the built-in Report feature. You can send a private message to the Forum Management Team here: https://wfsonline.org/profile/FMTeam

 

For questions about the Chat Room, email [email protected].

 

For help with the Zoom Room, email video [email protected].

 

Our volunteer leadership teams, including the Chat Meeting Workgroup, the Video Meeting Workgroup, Forum Management Team, or Website Management Team, will attempt to address concerns through corrections communicated directly to the member or members involved. Volunteers will always act in a manner that is determined to be for the greater good of the group and the site. In some cases, the team may decide it is necessary to delete or edit a post or even to suspend or ban a member from the site.

 

Appeals: Members may appeal any decision of our volunteer leadership teams. The decision of the team remains in place and enforced during the appeal process. The first level of appeal is to Adrienne Miller, President/CEO of WFS, Inc., at [email protected]. The second level of appeal is to the WFS Board of Directors for consideration at the next quarterly meeting. The appeal should be emailed to one or more of the Executive Officers listed on the Governance tab of the WFS website. An Officer will inform the member of the decision of the board by email. The decision of the WFS Board of Directors is final. 

 

Medical Advice Disclaimer:  WFS prohibits the giving of specific medical advice on the WFS Online Site and any other peer-support resource including In-person Meetings, Text Chat Meetings, and Zoom Video Meetings. Consult your own healthcare professionals for advice regarding your diet, supplements, activity, medications, or medical conditions. Regardless of what any other participant shares regarding what did or did not work well for her, you are responsible for consulting the appropriate professionals in your 3D world and making healthcare choices that are appropriate for you. 

 

WFS Forum Management Team

 

Created:  December 5, 2015
Revised: July 2019, December 2020